5 Steps for R-E-S-T.

Posted by Heather Palacios

IMG_2130 There is an importance to REST (see Psalm 46:10, Genesis 2:2, Matthew 6:31, Isaiah 30:15). I wanted to offer five steps to get it in your life. This is not an exhaustive list (“exhaust?” No pun intended!), nor is this a professional list. Just a list from personal experience…

 

  1. Practice the Power of Saying No. Two books I highly recommend to learn this skill is “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend and “People Pleasing” by Lou Priolo.
  2. Get Christian Counseling. An objective spokesperson for God will help you determine WHY you can’t rest. If you know WHY you can pursue HOW.
  3. Set a bedtime timer. Your kids have you as their bedtime timer. But who has you as YOUR bedtime timer? So make one! Set a timer to go off every night at your needed bedtime. At the sound of the alarm, turn off the TV, shut down the computer, power off the phone.” My current “timer” is set for 10:30pm.
  4. Understand this: If God didn’t think you could get done what HE needed you to get done in a 24-hour day, He would have made longer days. It’s not that we don’t have time to rest. Sometimes, we’re just choosing to do things God hasn’t scheduled and those things are occupying the time HE would have for us to rest. Pray for this understanding.
  5. Take advantage of quiet places: the bathroom, in your car, in a waiting room, in worship at church.  These are pockets of perfect moments to embrace the quiet and seek that “it is well with your soul.”

I hope this encourages someone today. And get some rest! :)

We Are Overcomers.

Posted by Cindy Beall

Towel “Hey Cindy, I think this is your towel,” Kim said very nonchalantly to me at our Bible Study meeting a few weeks ago.

My eyes merely saw a worn out and stained piece of cloth but my heart immediately transitioned that sight into an emotional moment. A moment from the past. A moment where I was standing in my old kitchen wiping my hands with said towel. A moment where I laid it out on my granite because I was going to let some dishes dry after hand washing them. A moment before the fire that took our home and every material possession that we owned on that June night in 2013.

It was just a towel. Quite frankly, it wasn’t even my favorite towel because it was boring to look at and it just didn’t absorb that well. And who wants a towel that doesn’t absorb? Please. As if.

But it was my towel. A towel from the part of our life that can be labeled “pre-fire”. A towel that reminded me of that life.

Because it was a good life. The life that housed almost 43 years of my being which included some hard times that transformed me and some amazing ones that made my life richer. And I know that sounds awfully strange to say “that life” because clearly, I am still alive and have my entire family to still love on. But, it’s weird because traumatic events typically do that. They separate your life into sections. And since I have very little from “that life” left physically, it feels like a million miles away.

But no matter what events have transpired in my life or in your life, we will overcome. We are MORE than conquerors through Him who loved us. And we are convinced that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Not the death of a loved one, not an abortion, not anger, not infidelity, not a cynical heart, not mental illness, not a haughty spirit, not rejection, not addiction, not a house fire, not selfishness, not envy, not jealousy, not physical pain, not illness or disease, not the loss of a best friend, not one single thing.

Because we are overcomers.

Stronger.

Leading & Loving It re:treat 2014 | Session 4, Tara Jenkins (Posted by Emily Cummins)

FullSizeRender-12 What hasn’t killed you, has made you stronger. Right?! We like to share our “after” stories—how we made it through the fight. But what do you say when you don’t feel stronger? When you’re still in the fight?

Ephesians 6:10-14 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place.”

So…how can we live stronger IN the midst of the fight?

  1. Stand in His strength.
  2. Stand in His strength and know that it’s not enough to sit in His service.
  3. Do what you’re created to do, not what you’re expected to do.
  4. Have a strategy that is spiritual.
  5. Have Scriptures that surround you.

Are you ready to stand STRONGER today?

Identity, Authority & Servanthood

Leading & Loving It re:treat 2014 | Session 4, Kerri Weems (Posted by Emily Cummins)

FullSizeRender-11 Far too often, we get caught up in the work of the ministry we’re in and forget the mission and people of the ministry. At the end of the day, we won’t take buildings, books, resources, strategies or ideas with us to eternity; we’ll take people.

Here’s the truth: we are called to lead AND love it. If we don’t love the people we are leading, we are just loving the position. And that’s not what God designed us to do or who He designed us to be.

So, how do we lead AND love it? Jesus shows the perfect example in John 13 during the Last Supper:

  1. Jesus knew what His purpose was—He knew what He was here for, where He came from & where He was going.
  2. He intentionally removed His robe (those things that characterized His identity) and put on a towel (the essence of servanthood). The more secure we are, the less we need people to know who we are.
  3. Jesus embraced servanthood.
  4. He stood back up, set down His towel and put His robe back on.

What’s the inner state of your heart? Before we can be authentic with anyone else, we must first be authentic with God. First and foremost, you are a daughter of God. This is your identity. We can only help those around us if we’re strong, confident and know who we are. From here, we can love completely. When we are rooted in the truth of who we are, we can love others fully.

Jesus washed feet, but He didn’t stay there. After washing His disciples’ feet, Jesus stood up, put His robe back on, and led. In order to lead and love it, we can’t stay with the towel. We have to follow Jesus’ example and serve, but then, we must stand back up, put our robe on and lead.

If we removed the grace of God, we would crumble under the weight of what He has called us to. This is why it’s vital that we stay tuned to the voice of God and what He is telling us to do. Jesus was an expert at following the voice of God—even when it meant not doing everything that seemed necessary in the moment. Today, embrace the grace of God. Put on His yoke. Intentionally pray. Seek the voice of Jesus. Stand strong and put your robe back on. It’s time to lead AND love it.

Where are you today? Are you staying with the towel and washing feet? Or are you standing up, listening to the voice of God, putting your robe back on, and leading…and loving it?